akiva goldsman - 5 found
akiva goldsman - 5 found
Akiva Goldsman (writer, director, producer, and Academy Award-winner)
Check out our full interview with him here.
by Akiva Goldsman
If Academy Award-winner Akiva Goldsman could have a career do-over, what would it be? Batman & Robin. The lifelong fan of superheroes and comics explains: “We all were so sure we were going in the right direction and we couldn’t have been going more in the wrong direction.”
Here are the highlights of his response. You can hear Akiva Goldsman’s entire answer to the “powerful screenwriter” question here, along with his laughter. (It was an outtake from our March podcast, which you can listen to here.)
Singularly as a screenwriter, period, there is an archaic caste system in Hollywood that precludes real influence. … Short of a few directors, and I was really lucky enough to work with a couple of them, the writer is anathema on set. And that can be for good reason or for bad reason. That can be because the director is a true visionary and truly understands the material in a way that is singular, or it can be because the director is scared of having someone who understands the material as well or better than he does. …
I think writing and producing can be a muscular combination, and I think writing and directing can be a muscular combination. But having done all three of the jobs to a greater or lesser extent, writing is without question the hardest, exponentially. It is also the most gratifying. It is also the most solitary.
Since nobody really is part of your work process, it’s very easy to be marginalized in the more communal part of filmmaking. And I think that’s no fun and sad and I’m a big believer in writers on set. I make sure that if I’m producing a movie that the writer gets on set. … Wardrobe gets to figure out what scarf she’s wearing. Props gets to figure out what gun he’s gonna carry, so why shouldn’t there be somebody whose job it is to pay attention to the words?
I think it’s becoming more customary and I think it makes movies better. But I don’t think it’s typical and I’ve rarely heard someone say, “Well, we can’t keep going if we can’t keep the writer.”
by Akiva Goldsman
We asked Oscar winner Akiva Goldsman if the term “powerful screenwriter” is an oxymoron. And after he stopped laughing, he had a great answer.
Akiva Goldsman — writer, director, producer, and Academy Award-winner — talks with us about what attracted him to television, specifically Fringe, how the rise of TV as a cinematic medium is affecting movies, and the benefits of working on a beloved but ratings-challenged show.
How did you get involved with Fringe?
“I was flirting with the idea of directing … and I kind of went around to my friends. I was on a plane ride home from a junket in Moscow with Pete Berg, and he said to me, ‘Well, come direct some television, direct an episode of Friday Night Lights. And, ironically, I never did direct an episode of Friday Night Lights, which is probably good because I’m sports-challenged.”
“I called my friend J.J. Abrams … and said ‘Hey, can I go direct an episode of Fringe?’ And he said, ‘Well, sure, if you want to write it, direct it.’ So I got in a room with Jeff Pinkner who, along with Joel Wyman, are the people who do all the hard work on Fringe. I started to write a television episode and I was utterly clueless. … I didn’t know how to do it, I was adding extra acts. So Joel kept sending me back to the well and what happened was that I realized that the thing I like about Fringe was all the mythology elements. … I was less than enamored with the monster of the week component. I thought, well, there’s an alternate universe and this girl’s been experimented on and wow, what if that was really what it was all about. …”
“I wrote and directed an episode called ‘Bad Dreams’ and then somehow ended up never leaving.”
There has been a perception that working in TV is somehow lesser than working in the movies — but do you and your Oscar (for writing A Beautiful Mind) buy that?
“I think the membrane between television and features has gone from semipermeable to permeable to virtually non-existent … television has become the home of remarkably good and sometimes superior filmed entertainment.”
Game of Thrones: “As good as anything on any screen”
The Killing: “Wonderful and unexpected and surprising.”
The performances in Luther: “Just so finely honed.”
“You get, in television, to do longer storytelling. I think the thing that happened, post Lost, was … there was suddenly accountability on the part of the viewer. You had to bring knowledge to the narrative as an audience member and I think that changed the way we tell stories. Modern storytelling has as much connectivity as soap operas and that’s great because that’s actually the strength of the form — to tell a longer, more complicated story over time.”
“TV is kind of outpacing features sometimes these days, and it’s exciting.”
Does it affect the creative process when you’ve got a bubble show (like Fringe) vs. a series whose future is assured?
“To have a bubble show is probably wildly anxiety-provoking. … But our ratings are so low that we kind of have been given the chance to do what we want. Most of our mistakes are really our mistakes. I’m sure there many places where you can go, “They made us do this, that and the other for ratings.” Not that we wouldn’t love some, but we’re so not getting them that we kind of are just like “Well, let’s just try to end it the way we like it.”
- Stephanie Reid-Simons